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Old 03-22-2011, 03:12 PM   #76
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Default Re: Worries About the Snyder reboot

Kurosawa can you tell me a bit about what Jerry Siegel's Superman was like?

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Old 03-22-2011, 04:17 PM   #77
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Kurosawa can you tell me a bit about what Jerry Siegel's Superman was like?
Well, Siegel worked on Superman from initially creating the character around 1934 until the mid-40's, then he returned in the late 50's and wrote Superman stories again until about 1965, so there are several eras of Siegel Superman. A few consistent things were that Superman himself was always the real person, and Clark Kent (that is to say, Metropolis Clark) the disguise, and that Superman was always a confident adult, very sure of himself. Cocky early on, confident as he matured.

A big part of why the double lives of superheroes were a very Jewish theme was because most American Jews of the early 20th Century lived double lives themselves, one life as Jewish, the other as American. It's why people like Moses, Samuel and Jerome Horwitz, for example, performed under the names Moe, Shemp and Curly Howard or why Bob Kahn signed his work as Bob Kane, etc...and why Siegel's own father, Mikhel Segalovich, changed his name to Mitchell Siegel. Superman is this common real life immigrant trope taken to a fantasy level. It's also important to note that a year or so after Mitchell Siegel was shot, Jerry created a man who bullets could not harm.

Clark was of course, portrayed as a nebbish, awkward, cowardly and shy character, in contrast with the invincible Superman. It is this idea of wish fulfillment-that under a meek exterior was an incredible figure-that led to Superman's universal appeal. Other Pre-Superheroic figures like Zorro had secret identities that differed somewhat from their heroic selves (Don Diego de la Vega was a lazy fop for the most part), but Clark Kent was so fragile and Superman so powerful that it took this idea to another level obviously.

What most people consider to be "Jerry Siegel's Superman" is the earliest version of the character, the social crusader who fought for worker's rights, worked outside of the law, smashed slums to bits to make the Government build better housing, and generally acted out the rage of the poor working class youth that Siegel was when the character started. And indeed, Superman himself stayed an outlaw until 1942- well AFTER the supposedly more rebellious Batman was made an official Deputy of the Gotham City Police in 1941-but as early as 1940 Superman had moved on to bigger menaces like the the Ultra-Humanite and Alexei Luthor. Another important thing to note is that National took control of Superman from Siegel fairly early, starting with their first rejection of Superboy in 1938, culminating in the rejection of "The K-Metal From Krypton" in 1940, which would have changed Superman's status quo 2 years into his existence. Superman would have known he was Kryptonian, Kryptonite-or "K-Metal"-would have not only weakened Superman but given humans super-powers, and Lois would have known he was Clark Kent. Siegel did continue writing Superman stories, and his later Golden Age work was more whimsical, as he brought in villains like Toyman, Prankster, Mister Mxyztplk, etc.

Siegel's 60's Superman was of a more serious nature, as reflected in stories like "The Death of Superman" and "Superman's Return to Krypton", during which his feelings of loss over Krypton's destruction were explored. Many of these stories were actually not action stories, but stories with characterization first-but still epic, just emotional epics instead of battle epics. These were actually the best stories Siegel ever wrote IMO. Like his early stories showed a young man's rage over injustice, Siegel's 60's stories showed his inner regrets over his personal and professional mistakes and his exploitation at the hands of DC. Some of them seem very simple and almost quaint now, but there is a real soul in those stories that only the man who created the character could bring to it. More than anything, the message of Siegel's Superman was triumph over struggle. Losing a world, losing his adoptive parents, being very alone but dedicating his life to helping others is what made life fulfilling for his Superman. "It's...good to have a second home." he ended "Superman's Return to Krypton" thinking as he came back to Earth. He lost a lot but he had a lot as well.


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Old 03-22-2011, 04:42 PM   #78
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Thank you for that. It was a very interesting read.

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:00 PM   #79
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When there is inevitably another 'crisis on infinite earths' type event where DC wipes the slate clean, I really hope they get rid of two things: the JSA golden age WW2 old ass superhero guys, and the legion of superheroes.

One, because like kurosawa said, it cheapens how and what batman and superman finally become who they are. (There are already superheroes flying around, and yet the writers act like bruce and clark just come up with this superhero idea all by themselves?)

Second, we're getting farther and farther away from WWII. It's getting very strange to see middle aged men that were supposedly in WWII walking around in modern times. It's only going to get stranger. Plus, they suck as characters. Seriously. I love most DC characters, but the JSA has just always been bad.

As far the legion, it's pretty disappointing knowing the 'future' of the DC universe, and seeing how lame it is. Way to ruin the unknown.

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:19 PM   #80
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One of my other worries is that Zack isn't the best commercial director. And a good box office means sequels. It sounds dumb but someone like Michael Bay would guarantee Superman would do 800+ million worldwide. I think Zack will give us a much more interesting and overall better film but he still isn't a proven commercial director. Hopefully Sucker Punch changes that.

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:21 PM   #81
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One of my other worries is that Zack isn't best commercial director. And a good box office means sequels. It sounds dumb but someone like Michael Bay would guarantee Superman would do 800+ million worldwide. I think Zack will give us a much more interesting and overall better but he still isn't a proven commercial director. Hopefully Sucker Punch changes that.
Uh, 300?

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:27 PM   #82
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Uh, 300?
Though it didn't break 500 million worldwide, 300 did really well. I'm more talking about track record. Cameron and Bay come to mind when I think of films with commercial appeal. Zack is hit or miss and lately he has been missing. I'm not saying he is a worse director. I'd much rather Snyder films in my library. Just that his films tend to be less accessible or something. Neither Avatar nor Transformers should of found as big an audience as they did but somehow those films were really successful.

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:29 PM   #83
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I wouldn't want cameron or bay anywhere near this movie.

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #84
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Though it didn't break 500 million worldwide, 300 did really well. I'm more talking about track record. Cameron and Bay come to mind when I think of films with commercial appeal. Zack is hit or miss and lately he has been missing.
Watchmen was never going to be a success, because it just wasn't that kind of movie.

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Neither Avatar nor Transformers should of found as big an audience as they did but somehow those films were really successful.
Really? Transformers was a popular cartoon and toy franchise that already had a massive fan following, the target movie going audience were all old enough to have watched the cartoon when they were yound, and it was about giant robots beating each other up.

Avatar had giant blue aliens flying on dinosaurs fighting giant robot mechas, with the best special effects put on film and the best use of 3D ever.

Somehow they were successful?

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:34 PM   #85
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I wouldn't want cameron or bay anywhere near this movie.
Cameron could probably turn Superman into a 2 billion dollar box office. Bay would insure that Superman was at least a trilogy with probably the best fights with supervillains. He would also though have the worse plot and least tight film of the three. Snyder would give us the most interesting take but the least box office out of the 3.

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:39 PM   #86
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Cameron could probably turn Superman into a 2 billion dollar box office.
And in the process make him completely unrecognizable.

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Bay would insure that Superman was at least a trilogy
*WB is going to *ensure that this is a trilogy regardless of the director.

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with probably the best fights with supervillians
Eh.

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He would also though have the worse plot and least tight film of the three.
Undoubtedly.

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Snyder would give us the most interesting take but the least box office out of the 3.
I would be fascinated to learn about your process for quantifying this factual data.

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Old 03-22-2011, 05:41 PM   #87
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Snyder would give us the most interesting take but the least box office out of the 3.
Remains to be seen. Not saying it's completely unlikely, but you never know. J.J. Abrams certainly made a much better film, got a lot more people excited and made a lot more money than people thought he would a year and a half before Star Trek came out.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:02 PM   #88
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It's not as simple as looking at the concepts behind the film and definitively stating it is going to be a hit. If the formula were that easy, there would be no such thing as a flop/disappointment as those projects would never get greenlit.

There is a point to be made that certain directors trump over the movies themselves, in the sense that they can elevate the material due to their ability in tailoring a film for mass appeal. Spielberg (especially in his prime) was unstoppable. Anything he made would be instant gold. Bay is relatively along the same lines, having only one flop. Cameron is arguably the modern king of success, in spite of his limited filmography relative to the length of his career.

In these cases, whatever project they tackle, there's a high probability it's going to make bank. It's very fair to say Snyder lacks this quality, as I think he's only as good as the material he's being given. What I can say is unique about Zack, is he's got a wonderful eye for coating any project with that modern and edgy vibe. You can see it in his style and in his personality. He was definitely one of those kids who was influenced by anything "COOL" and "BAD-ASS". He can make the most mundane, look sublime. That's where his talents lie.

It's largely why 300 was such a success. It's a very simple film, and it was carried by the intensity of testosterone-driven warriors. It catered to the primal urges of many people, by letting your adrenaline loose in the name of mindless entertainment. Watchmen was leagues beyond what he had made, but his endearment towards the source prevented it from being a hack-job. Zack tried to stay close to the complexity of the story, but you could absolutely sense his fingerprints all over that movie. The tone was relatively in-tact but twisted through the mindset of a teen who was more familiar with the works of Heavy Metal magazine than Shakespearean plays. An apt analogy was made a few years back -- it is the difference between hearing a piece by Beethoven, played by a high-schooler with an affinity for music and a classically trained pianist. The material may be exactly the same, note for note, but it will yield different results due to the origins of the player themselves.

In the case of Superman I think it's almost a perfect match. The potential visuals ingrained with the world Superman inhibits, makes it ideal for someone like Snyder to play around with. Simultaneously it isn't a vapid video game with no redeeming values beyond the aesthetics. In which case I think this is past Snyder's realm of talents. So it will have to rest on Goyer and whoever else may work on the script. It can easily bring Zack's directorial efforts down, as I don't think he's fully capable of carrying heavy weight such as that.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:13 PM   #89
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I don't think Snyder has to carry it on his own. Goyer is around, Nolan is around, both Nolan and Snyder's wives are around. He isn't going into this by himself. Plus you have people like Costner and Lane involved; they ooze "endearing character" and casting decisions like that along with every one else around will help him to only concern himself with being the man behind the camera telling the story.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:16 PM   #90
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Default Re: Worries About the Snyder reboot

Snyder isn't subtle but he isn't an incompetent director like you guys are saying.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:20 PM   #91
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Agreed. Just because 300 was "carried by the intensity of testosterone-driven warriors" doesn't mean it was just "a simple film".

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:31 PM   #92
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Snyder isn't subtle but he isn't an incompetent director like you guys are saying.
I think you've greatly misinterpreted what's actually being written. Snyder's flaws are all that's being discussed. It is not equivalent to disparaging his entire skill-set. Certainly nowhere close to labeling him as incompetent.

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Agreed. Just because 300 was "carried by the intensity of testosterone-driven warriors" doesn't mean it was just "a simple film".
Except it was. I loved '300' myself, but I am not about to overstate its value as a film. You'd have to make a damn brilliant argument as to how it's anything beyond simple.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:33 PM   #93
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I think you've greatly misinterpreted what's actually being written. Snyder's flaws are all that's being discussed. It is not equivalent to disparaging his entire skill-set. Certainly nowhere close to labeling him as incompetent.
"Simultaneously it isn't a vapid video game with no redeeming values beyond the aesthetics. In which case I think this is past Snyder's realm of talents."

That's hardly a glowing review.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:35 PM   #94
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I won't overstate its value, either. It's not The Departed by any means. However it is slightly more than a bunch of guys throwing down. There is a story and it is based somewhat on a historical series of events.

I will however admit that a big part of the success of the film is based on - as I said - a bunch of guys throwing down. My point is that it wasn't entirely what it was.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:38 PM   #95
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300 is a parody of the glorification of war, told from the point of view of a particularly war like race. It's massive historical inaccuracies (like mutant-men with saws for hands, Xerxes being nine feet tall) are a reference to how stories change through being told. Remember, it's being recounted by a character in the movie.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:41 PM   #96
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OFF-TOPIC: lol at "you are now breathing manually". It's gotten me about six times now.

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:44 PM   #97
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OFF-TOPIC: lol at "you are now breathing manually". It's gotten me about six times now.
And now you've just got me with it

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:45 PM   #98
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Default Re: Worries About the Snyder reboot

My fear worries relate to the fact that this is a movie only being made because WB are trying to keep the rights and that Snyder got lucky with Dawn of the Dead and Watchmen as far as quality is concerned. I also don't like Zod being used as I thought that we'd get away from just out and out copying Donner's films again.

Man of Steel may not be a sequel or related to SR in any real way but it is a follow up of sorts because it is coming out so soon after SR so we have two Superman series that have Luthor stealing land in the first movie and Zod and crew being the villains in the second...that doesn't sound very original to me. I just hate that image. Why couldn't Brainiac or someone else be the villain?

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:46 PM   #99
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And now you've just got me with it

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Old 03-22-2011, 06:46 PM   #100
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My fear worries relate to the fact that this is a movie only being made because WB are trying to keep the rights and that Snyder got lucky with Dawn of the Dead and Watchmen as far as quality is concerned. I also don't like Zod being used as I thought that we'd get away from just out and out copying Donner's films again.

Man of Steel may not be a sequel or related to SR in any real way but it is a follow up of sorts because it is coming out so soon after SR so we have two Superman series that have Luthor stealing land in the first movie and Zod and crew being the villains in the second...that doesn't sound very original to me. I just hate that image. Why could Brainiac or someone else be the villain?
Zod is just a rumour isn't it?

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